"For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The roller coaster ride continues...

One of my favorite commercials, and Cozart's least favorite, is the Geico commercial with the little pig saying "weeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" with little pinwheels in his little hoofs (or is it hooves?). That is how I like to envision myself on a roller coaster (weeeeeee weeeeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeee). This roller coaster is nothing like the little pig and sounds more like Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Ugh, expletive, expletive, expletive.

When I left you last, we were so very excited about attending the IVF seminar (there's that sarcasm again) and I was patiently awaiting Flo's arrival. She was due a week ago today.

The IVF seminar was everything we thought it to be and more. By that, I mean it seemed very much like a sales pitch as anticipated but by more, it was very informative and rather interesting. I did have a minor meltdown as we waited for the meeting to get started. I think I was just overcome with frustration and, I do believe in my heart, that given the opportunity to try IVF, it would work. I just don't know that we will be given the opportunity, hopefully we won't need it. That is definitely not to say that I don't believe IUI, with a medicated cycle, will not work. Now that we have attended the seminar we have earned clearance to move forward with the medication.

Wednesday of last week came and went without even a single hint of Flo's arrival. Thursday and Friday were much of the same. I also didn't have a single symptom that would indicate, by some miracle, I was pregnant either. That didn't stop my mind from daydreaming about that miraculous possibility and it also didn't stop my fingers from browsing sites like projectnursery.com. For someone who can all but predict the hour of Flo's arrival, most months, the hours creeped by over the course of those 3 days. I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't focus and the only reason I was forcing myself to eat was for the very very very slim possibility I may need to provide nourishment to a tiny little cluster of cells inside me. By late Saturday afternoon, reality set in and Flo arrived with a bang. Her funny way of being fashionably late, I guess. I personally didn't find it too humorous.

Monday morning I called the doctor to schedule my cycle day 1 ultra sound (which was actually day 3). They were able to get me in right away and at the office most convenient for me. The ultra sound indicated Flo's tardiness may have been due to the fact that there is a good possibility I didn't ovulate. My right ovary still had 2 rather large follicles which are considered cysts after your cycle has started. Exactly what we didn't want to see before starting a medicated cycle as the medication can cause the cysts to rupture. After the ultra sound, I was sent to have blood drawn to determine whether or not the cysts are estrogen producing.

Late Monday afternoon, I received a call from Dr. D's nurse letting me know the cyst is definitely estrogen producing (Grrrrrr) and also, to give me our options. Those options are: We can either skip this month all together, which would mean having to miss a left side month (possibly) and then having to wait next month as well if it is a right side month. Unless of course, I break my every other ovary every other month pattern. Option 2 is to start birth control immediately and continue taking it for approximately 2.5 weeks to give the cysts time to dissolve. If the cysts have dissolved after 2.5 weeks, I will discontinue taking the BC, wait for Flo's arrival again and start the Femara (much like Clomid) on Cycle day 3-7 and Folistim on days 6, 8 and 10 and so on...

I think the choice is pretty obvious, we went with option 2. Why prolong this any longer if we don't have to, right? RIGHT!!! I started birth control yesterday which gives me a horrible headache. Ugh! I have an ultra sound scheduled for November 1st to determine whether or not the cysts have dissolved. (for the record, I can not wait to have an ultra sound that actually involves showing something other than ovaries and an empty uterus!!!) Fingers crossed and lots of prayers for no cysts and a left side cycle!!

In other news, Cozart had his first day on shift (no more training) yesterday and let's just say, I haven't seen anyone this happy about going to work, well, probably ever! I drove by a little pre-school on my way to work yesterday and there was a fire truck sitting out front. As I got closer I noticed it was LFD and Engine #15. "HEY! That's Cozart's truck!!" And sure enough, there he was standing outside and I'm pretty sure there were actual beams shining off of him of pure joy! He was placed on this earth to help people and for this job. Praise God for giving him this opportunity and making his dream come true!!!

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


In case you were wondering, yes I was a cheerleader. So very many years ago. :)

I'm, once again, falling behind on my blog updates. I'm sorry for any of you who may have been waiting on the edge of your seat for my next ever-so-riveting post. (I hope you can sense my sarcasm.) ;)

I had my follow up visit with Dr. D last Friday. This visit was initiated by myself in hopes I would better understand his conservative approach to our treatments and maybe persuade him to be a bit more aggressive. Unfortunately, Cozart wasn't able to be there. Inevitably there were things I didn't mention that he wished I would have and questions he also wished I would have asked.

Dr. D began our discussion by once again going over my test results and offered some empathy when it came to my frustrations. He made a good point in reminding me that when we look all the way back to our first visit, he seems like such a long time ago but in reality I have only gone through 2 treatments. Most people don't have to skip months like we do, the process for us just feels twice as long because we do have to skip months that I am ovulating on my right side and, well, it IS taking twice as long. He then offered the option of doing what they call a Modified Natural Cycle or Mini-IVF when I am ovulating on the right side. The abbreviated explanation to this procedure is basically IVF without all the drugs. They only retrieve one or two eggs and only transfer one. It is cheaper than a normal IVF treatment but still a pretty hefty chunk of change with only a 15% chance of take home baby. (IUI has between a 10-12% chance of take home baby and my doctor has a 52% chance of take home baby with regular IVF, just to give you a comparison.) For the amount of money you have to pay with those odds, it just doesn't really seem worth it. I told him I appreciated the suggestion but I have actually welcomed the months off. It gives my nerves and my mind a little break.

After discussing the Mini-IVF option we moved on to what we would be doing differently with our next IUI cycle. He agreed it was time to be a bit more aggressive (huge sigh of relief) and agreed Follistim (the drug my cousin's wife sent me) would be the way to go. YAY! YAY! YAY! He gave me instructions to call his office the first day of my cycle, which should be any day now, to schedule an ultrasound for that day as well as one for cycle day 11. The first ultrasound will again be to check for cysts. If it is clear I will again, take clomid on cycle days 3-7 but this time add a follistim injection on days 6, 8 and 10. If the cycle day 11 ultrasound shows I am ovulating on the left side and I don't have too many follicles, I will be given instructions to administer the Ovidrel shot and schedule insemination (and Cozart's deposit) for 36 hours following the shot. The reason we would have to forego this cycle if there are too many follicles is due to the increased chance in multiples. I did explain that twins would be a blessing in our opinion. He explained that it's not so much twins he worries about, it's triplets, quadruplets, quints, etc... This is where Cozart and I don't exactly see eye to eye. He still would consider triplets or even quadruplets a blessing, I think it would be too risky for me and the babies. Not that I wouldn't be overjoyed with having that many babies at once, I would also be terrified. Not only because of the health risks but also the obvious reasons like cost!!! Ummm... HELLO!!!!

So now we wait. Wait for Flo's arrival. It seems she always shows when you least want her to and never arrives in a timely fashion when you need her to. Who does she think she is anyway??

Oh! I almost forgot, we have to attend an IVF seminar this evening. Woo Hoo! The reason we have to attend is not because we are venturing down the very expensive road to IVF but because the injection I will be giving myself is also used for IVF patients. They have to inform you, as a patient, of the risks of the drug prior to using it. Apparently, taking 10 minutes to run through these risks in the doctor's office wouldn't be sufficient. Instead we get to sit through I nice, long, informative seminar on a procedure we will likely never be able to afford to hear about one little drug and the very slight chance it may cause hyper-ovarian stimulation or something of the sort. Can you sense my excitement?? My overly analytical and extremely skeptical mind goes places I wish it wouldn't like, perhaps Dr. D is thinking IUI will never work for us and is getting us to come to the seminar as some type of slimey sales tactic. Kind of like those multi-level marketing scams. 'We'll convince them they have to come for some ridiculous reason and bait them into thinking this is the only way they will ever have a child of their own.' [insert evil laugh] For all intent and purpose I am going to do my best to suppress those thoughts and try my best to be positive. :) Operation Baby Lawrence, full steam ahead!!

Until next time... Happy Hump Day!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good things DO come to those who wait...

It feels so good to finally report some GOOD news!! As many of you know, Cozart has been pursuing a career with a fire department (any department, not one specifically) for several years. He originally went through the fire academy and EMT school back in 1999 (I may be a little off with some of my dates, so I apologize, Babe!). At the time, they would not hire anyone unless they had a perfect driving record for a minimum of 24 months. And let's just say, Cozart hasn't always been the great driver he is today. Knowing he wouldn't be eligible he pursued other avenues and worked on letting up on the lead foot a bit. He started working for a local pool builder and advanced his way up "the ladder" until he agreed to leave the company and follow me to South Florida where, a then, recent promotion would take me. After my company closed due to the "mortgage meltdown" we moved back to Central Florida where he would once again begin his quest to work for a fire department. 

He went through his re-certification process for both fire and EMT and got a job with a local ambulance company. (separate from the fire dept or hospital) He began applying to different fire departments as positions became available, only to get turned down time and time again because they were "only hiring paramedics".  Instead of throwing in the towel at that point, and being the strong-willed person Cozart is, he decided to enroll in paramedic school. (boy was that fun! Ugh!) After a very long year of juggling school full-time, a full-time job with the ambulance company and fitting in clinical hours when ever he could (he went many-a-days with little to no sleep at all) he graduated as a paramedic in the fall of 2010. 

Since graduation he has applied and tested for several departments, often with no explanation whatsoever as to why he wasn't selected. (Other than the fact that 250 people were applying/testing for 4 or 5 positions.)  I think we can all agree, there comes a point where you start to question why you keep trying. Cozart would come to that point and move right past it and apply for the next opportunity that presented itself. Always with the same mentality and mantra "God has a plan for me.". 

At the beginning of this summer, Cozart spoke to a few people at local hospitals about working as a paramedic in the hospital's ER. He was hired, in August, to be just that, an ER paramedic, for a hospital close to our house. He began a brutal schedule of working 7pm-7am Monday-Wednesday at the hospital and Thursday 9am-9pm for the ambulance company (yes you read that correct, he would work 2 jobs, each 12 hour shifts over the course of 26 hours) and Friday 6am-10pm. Horrible and so unhealthy! Not only would I not see him because of the crazy hours he was working, when he was home, he was sleeping. Always sleeping!!! And not feeling all that great, as you can imagine.

A month, or so, into his new, crazy schedule someone (I can't remember who) told him the Longwood Fire Department was hiring. That evening, we completed his application which required a 2X2 photo of himself and a few other things that were not typical. Believe me, we've done enough of these to know what is normally needed. After scanning and printing, cropping photos, typing and re-typing answers to questions on this application it was finished and he would turn it in the next day. The day after he turned in his application and as I was walking out the door, the house phone rang. I never, and I repeat NEVER answer the house phone. There are 2 people that use our house phone that we actually know and want to talk to (Cozart's Aunt and his Grandmother) and this number was neither of theirs. However, Cozart had just gotten home and gone to sleep and the last thing I wanted was for a darn telemarketer to wake him up. So, on this rare occasion, I answered it. Let me also note that, if I don't answer the phone, it goes to voicemail, I check the house voicemail about ever 3 months and 99.9% of the time it's a politician, some recording telling me I have won a cruise or someone from India and I can't understand what they're saying anyway. 

The person on the other end of the phone was Lt. W from the Longwood Fire Department calling to see if it was at all possible for Cozart to come in for an interview the following day. It was imperative that he come the next day as it was their final day for interviews. In fact, he almost didn't make the application cut off time. Yikes! I left Cozart a message and he would interview the following afternoon. 

Following the interview, he felt pretty confident but didn't want to be overly confident as he had felt really good many times before. He was called to meet with the Chief the following week and was sent home a conditional offer, contingent upon a background check, driving record, drug test, physical, etc... At this point, we were feeling pretty good but still nervous this opportunity would somehow slip through his fingers. The following week he was fitted for his dress uniform and the rest of his gear. We were getting even more excited, but not ready to crack the champagne just yet. 

I am so happy to say, today was his first day as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic for the Longwood Fire Department. I can not put into words how over the moon I am for him. His persistance, tenacity, patience and over all faith that God does have a plan are not only paying off but something I need to learn from. I have so much respect and love for him and couldn't be more proud to call this God-fearing, faithful, devoted man, my husband. God is good!!! ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!